Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

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had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

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enjoying puchka

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jhaal mudi

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and visited the family who brought me up.

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We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

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The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

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Bronzeback Tree Snake

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Blue-throated Barbet

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We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

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Hog Deer

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Red Jungle Fowl

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Elephants

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Rhinos

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Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

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Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

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where we saw so much of wildlife.

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The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

Nandi Hills, 220417

May 1, 2017

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Venkat, Varun, Shanthala, Kedar, Akansha, Nitin, Janhvi, Padma, Vidhya, Ramaswamy, Nandi Hills, 220417

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Puff-throated Babbler

The blossoming Gulmohar..

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The floral carpet below.

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Vanda testacea, an orchid that was growing wild.

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Tipu’s summer lodge:

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Owl’s Eye Moth

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“Oooh, see the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons!”

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Here they are, billing and cooing together:

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It was a lovely morning, you can see the album

here

The eBird list is

here

for Nandi and

here

for Jakkur kere.

How food is cooked on a massive scale

March 28, 2017

Having seen for myself the deteriorating quality of food on trains on the Indian Railways, I watched this interesting documentary on IRCTC:

It’s rather long, watch only if you have the inclination and the time!

I couldn’t believe all the good food being prepared…why, I thought, do I never see phulkas or salads, even on the Rajdhani? And halfway through the film, the answer appeared. In response to complaints about the quality of food, the catering was take away from IRCTC itself (who then started concentrating on the corporate sector) and given to independent contractors who, I feel, are definitely running the catering service into the ground now. The video is still worth watching (as are several on how temple kitchens function) for the scale of food preparation.

Here’s one that’s also fascinating:

(Most temples in Karnataka provide food to the devotees who visit.)

Home-maker, Doresanipalya Reserve Forest, 120317

March 12, 2017

We saw a White-cheeked Barbet, idle, and free.

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It seemed to suddenly twist itself, right towards the tree.

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I’d wished to see a woodpecker, and as if granting that wish
It pecked to make a nesting-hole, work that it seemed to relish!

Here’s the bird, hard at work, rat-tatting away.

“Go and build your own home!” is what it seemed to say!

Yes, we took its sage advice and homeward went our way,
But the thought of the home-building barbet we carry through the day.

Captivity over freedom: Grey Francolins, Jigani Lake, 181216

December 18, 2016

Something strange on the 3rd Sunday outing to Jigani kere today.

We saw a young man with 2 Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me how they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out. Well, once again, the young man let them out, and this time, both birds flew quite a distance before landing in the field. I couldn’t believe that the Francolins would be captive again…but stood and watched the young man approaching the area where they were,they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out.

On this video, you can see the first Francolin just inside the cage, and the second walk in to the cage, with no force or persuasion! DoSomething strange on the 3rd Sunday outing today (Sun, 18 Dec 2016) at Jigani kere.

We saw a young man with two Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me ho the birds get so used to captivity that they prefer it to an uncertain freedom?

Here’s the Francolin, outside the cage:

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Here’s the video:

Regarding the outing, the

eBird checklist for Jigani kere is

here

eBird checklist for Hennagara is

here

the FaceBook Album is

here

and the Flickr album is

here

“Top” fun…no electricity required…and it’s a lot of fun! Blr, 131216

December 14, 2016

I decided to show K2 how tops work, and I wondered if I still had the old skill. The first two tries did not work, but on the 3rd attempt…

(I had to throw the top and then pick up the camera!)

Here’s K2 demonstrating the best way to enjoy a spinning top.

Here’s the top:

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Obviously, watching it upside down between one’s feet is good:

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Then he comes closer, only to be stopped by my warning not to touch it!

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We had an hour or so of this…I hope, one day, to see him very proficient with the top,too!

Traditional pastimes for children, which are delightful, and require no electricity!

A beautiful song in AbhOgi: thanga ratham vanthathu veedhiyilE

November 24, 2016

தங்கரதம் வந்தது, வீதியிலே,
ஒரு தளிர்மேனி வந்தது தேரினிலே
மரகதத் தோரணம்அசைந்தாட
நல்ல மாணிக்க மாலைகள்கவிபாட

செவ்விள நீரின்கண் திறந்து
செம்மாதுளையின்மணி வாய் பிளந்து
முளைவிடும் தண்டில்கோலமிட்டு மூவருலா வந்த காலங்கள் போலே
தங்கரதம் வந்தது

மாங்கனிக் கன்னத்தில், தேனூற சிறு மைவிழிக்கிண்ணத்தில்மீன் ஆட
தேன் தரும் போதைகள், போராட
தேவியின்பொன் மேனி தள்ளாட ஆட
இருவரும்:- தங்கரதம் வந்தது

THANGA RATHAM VANTHATHU VEETHIYILEY – movie: Kalai Kovil (கலைக்கோயில்)

Monsoon

June 9, 2016

The air cools rapidly, and the light dims as boiling, heavy clouds boil over the landscape. The breeze builds rapidly into a wind, whipping up the summer dust, lashing the palm fronds into a frenzy. The first huge drops splash upon the parched ground.

Every sense is overwhelmed: the ears by the thunder, the eyes by the strange,dim light from behind the massing clouds, and the lightning that dances across them, or that lances to the ground; the skin by the feel of the rain, the nose by the aroma of wet earth… that incomparable fragrance that fills the air.

We raise our eyes to the heavens, and give thanks for the life-giving showers.After the torrid summer, the monsoon is here.

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Here’s one song describing the arrival of the monsoon, and the eager wait for it.

The last few seconds depict, too. how disappointing (and cataclysmic to the farmer) it can be when the rains fail.

Using others’ homes, Road to Galibore, 201214

December 22, 2014

While birding on the road to Galibore, Karnataka,on the banks of the Kaveri, in the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS), we obseved some abandoned nests of the Baya Weavers.

We found that some Scaly-breasted Munias were now using the nests, and for a while, we watched these little beauties flying into, and away, from the nests.

A little later, though, our attention was arrested by the call of a

RUFOUS TREEPIE

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which we found flying from nest to nest.

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It kept picking at the dried grass that made up the nests:

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I could not understand whether it was foraging for insects in the grasses, or if it was unpicking the grass reeds to use in a nest of its own.

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At one point, I found the bird actually putting its head into the opening of one of the nests, as if to try and get in.

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Here’s the Treepie on the nest:

I took another one, too:

The

Wiki entry on this bird

does not mention anything about this behaviour. I wonder if I could get some more information about this…was the bird just being opportunistic?

The bird list of this trip. on eBird is at

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20983466

Hoskote Kere (Lake),071214

December 10, 2014

Since Snehasis could not join our group for Skandagiri on the 6th, I wanted to take him to a birding spot that he had not visited before.

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As I went down the stairs, I saw this dead

BAMBOO TREE BROWN

dead on the landing, and photographed it:

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I then dropped it respectfully in the mud of a pot downstairs, little knowing that Rohit Girotra would want me to hunt for it the next day, as he wanted a dead butterfly for his collection, and didn’t want to kill one like many others did. Alas, I could not find it!

Snehasis, Ruma and little Soham picked me up, and we headed out to Hoskote Lake.

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In a residential layout close to the lake, we began our birding with this

PADDYFIELD PIPIT:

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We came to the lake, and I found this raptor hiding in the reeds, and looking down into the water to see if it could get some breakfast…either fish or waterfowl.

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I have not seen this behaviour by raptors before! I thought that they soar on thermals, and swoop down on prey that they spot from above.

Egrets were there in plenty…

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and here’s one!

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It was an attractive “waterfowl”scape:

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BRAHMINY KITES

(this one’s a juvenile) flew around, perched,

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preyed, and ate.

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Hungry Bird!

A lone

SPOT-BILLED PELICAN

was perhaps all that was left from many more earlier in the season.

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We were also fortunate enough to meet several other birders, some of whom I knew, some of whom I was meeting face-to-face for the first time.

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I was as thrilled with the quite common

BLACK DRONGO

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as I was with a not-frequent sighting of the

INDIAN SPOTTED EAGLE:

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Ok,that merits one more photo, you can see the nictitating membrane in the bird’s eye, here:

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While we looked at the bird, the bird looked at us!

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I wandered along the bank of the kere,looking for other birds, and this Warbler played hide-and-seek with me!

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Even when I got it, it refused to look at me.

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Then I caught it…this is not a stretch of the imagination!

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and finally, after twenty minutes of patient tracking…

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Meanwhile, a

RED-VENTED BULBUL

was making a shake-and-stake meal of a grasshopper:

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Unexpectedly, along the reeds of the kere, I saw several

RED AVADAVATS (this one is a female)

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We saw all three frequently-seen Kingfishers. The

WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER

had decided to go to pot!

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The

COMMON KINGFISHER

(which I call the Small Blue, it’s no longer as common as it was)

was a sapphire treasure:

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(I didn’t get any of the Pied Kingfisher)

These

RED-WHISKERED BULBULS

rocked the scene:

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A

COMMON SANDPIPER

foraged in the shallows:

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GREAT CORMORANTS

did their diving antics for food.

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One

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW

was pestering its parent for food, though it seemed quite grown-up to me!

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They were a beautiful study in “back and front”!

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As we left, a

JERDON’S BUSHLARK

sang us a goodbye song…

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a

BROWN SHRIKE

seemed to wink at us, too.

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and a

BLACK KITE

in a Neem tree flew off.

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Ruma took Soham back to the car when he got peckish. He was an enthusiastic birder, and knows
many of the birds’ names!

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A stand of Datura (the fruit is very poisonous, and yet it is grown as an ornamental in the US!) looked beautiful.

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I watched some ants herding

PLANT HOPPERS

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How often does one find one’s name graven in stone (well, cement,at least!)?

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We visited Debashis Das and his wife on the way home, and in their 8th floor balcony, some

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIAS

were nesting!

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This was a real thrill for me, how I wish I could have birds nesting in my home!

Finally, we turned our back on the birds, and came home to breakfast.

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They turned their back on us, too…and a beautiful sight they make, from any angle!

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More photos on my FB album,

here